Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty


Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 5, 2010

by Gordon Duff at Veterans Today


A water truck backs up to the Euphrates River in Iraq.  The driver, a Ugandan or maybe an Ethiopian, gets out, lowers a hose into the sewage ridden flow and fills his truck.  5 miles away, a US Army water purification center sits, too far away.  The driver thinks, “water is water.”  Another of the Pentagon’s “Zombie Contractors” take their toll, part of the army of “undead” and unqualified who are the world’s most expensive work force.

The driver, an employee of a company once headed by the Vice President of the United States, could care less, clean water, filth or sewage, it is only going to American troops as drinking water.

The words “typhoid” or “hepatitis” mean nothing to him, he has never heard them and certainly didn’t read them in his daily log.  He never reads anything.  He can’t as he is illiterate like tens of thousands of other employees that the American taxpayer is coughing up $1000 a day for, even more, sometimes much more.

The driver considers himself well paid at $10 dollars a day.

The troops drinking the water would only find out weeks later that it was contaminated with sewage.  Similarly, 33 American soldiers have been electrocuted by faulty wiring installed by work crews that wouldn’t know “positive” from “negative.”  The Pentagon paid for journeymen and got third world unemployed, swept up off the streets, trucked out of the slums of Africa or South America, many decent and hard working people but to the contracting firms, American, British and Israeli, mostly, they are nothing but a way of defrauding the Pentagon, something any child could do.

The Pentagon doesn’t care, not as long as the company’s politics are right and, under the Bush administration, “right” meant extreme right.

Americans have been told the hundreds of thousands of highly paid contractors in, not only Iraq and Afghanistan but throughout the Middle East, were veterans, most Marines, Rangers, Seals and Special Forces, paid a thousand dollars a day to put their lives on the line and, in the process, building a “net egg” for their lives, should they survive and return home.  The controversy, we were told, was that our active duty troops only made a fraction as much.  This story, however, was only meant to deceive, dissemble and misinform. Yes, many veterans hold security contracting jobs and pull down high dollars but the truth is far different than we were told.

One contracting firm, handing security for the United States Air Force, had over 8000 employees in Afghanistan.  All were assumed to be Rangers, SAS or other combat vets.  In reality, only 6 were trained military veterans from these services.  Every other employee was, not only “third world” but also never trained or members of military forces rated, frankly, as armed rabble.

The Pentagon paid nearly as much for one of these shoeless, uneducated and untrained contractors in a week as a flag officer makes in a month, actually more than that, embarrassingly more.

What are these contractors paid, who sees if they are qualified or even checks of they are wanted criminals?  Well, actually, no one.  Americans, veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan go through security screenings, rigorous and continual,even humiliating drug testing but the majority of their fellows, including tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of “kitchen workers” or related professions could be anyone, could be and certainly are.

Questions come to mind.  Why would the most expensive and highest paid military force on earth with the most technologically advanced surveillance systems imaginable need to be guarded by third world nationals cited for performing their duties in filthy shorts, no shoes or shirt and carrying an aging rusted Soviet weapon from a scrap heap?

Have you noticed you have never seen one of the thousands of real security contractors from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Congo, Uganda and other areas of Africa in photographs?  All you see are burly ex-Marines, armed to the teeth.

Ever see a photograph of the living quarters for the other workers, the ones who clean the toilets, cook the food, and outnumber our troops?  Why are they hidden?  Is something wrong?  Why the secrecy?  Are we too busy photographing troops tiptoeing  through poppy fields to look into the issue of “guest workers.”  How do the Pentagon’s favorites, the “no-bid” boys get away with over-billing billions for “mercenaries” when, in actuality they are supplying house maids, janitors dishwashers and billing as though they were all hedge fund managers.

For those who are working “security,” for each burly ex-Ranger, there are a hundred near starving Ethiopians being paid “cigarette money.”  Try finding a photograph of one of them.  You stand as much chance of finding nuclear weapons assembly videos.

At least the mercenary army, shoes or no shoes, has weapons that work, no matter how old or dirty.  The Pentagon has more games than simply throwing away billions to pay workers that may not exist.  There is big money in defective weapons also.

Yes, we admit, a 30 year old AK 47 assembled in Nigeria is less likely to jam in combat than the M-4 carbine, according to every test ever run.  We could talk about the boondoggle “single source” contract, spending hundreds of millions on a weapon troops not only don’t trust but has proven useless in the long range combat of Afghanistan.  We could talk about where 250,000 AK 47′s, not junk, but new “top of the line” models with forged receivers simply disappeared.

Our hope is that they ended up at the bottom of the Euphrates River, dumped, truckload after truckload by impatient Rwandan truckers looking to shorten their workday.  I am sure we will be seeing those weapons again, not at a local gun show in Colorado, but “business end first” during our next “endless war” but I digress.

What don’t we know about who we pay hundreds of billions of dollars for?

At one time I was told the US Army had 125,000 kitchen workers in Iraq alone.  Then I was told the figure was actually much higher.  The total contractor figure, during the time of our highest troop deployments was three times that of the number of soldiers in theater.  Who are they and what are they paid?  Nobody knows, in particular, congress, the General Accounting Office and the Department of Defense and no one is asking.

We don’t have a remote idea what any of the contractors actually do, where they live, what their jobs are and if they do them at all or if they actually exist at all.  We simply pay and pay.

In fact, the job of overseeing contractors is, in itself, actually contracted out.  Oh, it gets better, the job of overseeing the contractors who oversee the contractors is contracted out also.  Is there an end to this?  We haven’t found it yet.

Please Visit Veterans Today to see the original article


  1. I don’t believe Gordon Duff has ever been to Iraq or Afghanistan! He doesn’t have a clue what’s happening there.
    I’d like to know who it is that’s getting paid “A thousand dollars a day.”

    I worked for4 KBR in Kandahar, Afghanistan and I made $14.90 an hour to build forms and pour concrete. We also got an extra 55% for 40 hours a week when we worked 84 hours minimum!
    That’s in every type of weather and circumstance.

    I made about $1700.00 a week normally. That’s at 85 to 90 hours a week. And getting KILLED is always a distinct possibility, 24 hours a day!

    I wonder if Mr. Duff has ever worked that many hours anywhere? I doubt he works more than 40 to 50 hours a week tops!! And he makes more money than ANY of the contractors he berates!

    Mr. Duff, you need to walk the mile before reporting on the road!

    Jim Mallett
    U.S. Army Infantry / Recon 1971-72
    Defense Contractor Afghanistan 2004-05
    Now crippled because of my service to my country.

  2. anonymousonpurpose said

    Thank you Jim,

    Same, same…

    Injured, crippled for life, around $1,700 working my ass off, etc…

    Used the same screen name over there and tried to use reason, logic, and personally viewed experiences to describe how I disagreed with his sensationalistic scare piece and he called me a liar.

    What an idiot.

    I stated in no uncertain terms that I had no idea about the private security (even though this is not true, talked to plenty of them going through vacations and whatnot) made a day…I DO KNOW there is no way they took home $1000 a day.

    His blog is obviously left leaning. Just look at his responses.

    Right away a woman talks about the “horrible KBR REDNECK contractors” bragging about how much money they made…..


    That’s the best you can do?

    Show me a person anywhere who wants to work for free..oh wait, that ended with the Civil War 😉

    Good luck to you Jim.

  3. anonymousonpurpose said

    I wrote intelligent, well thought out personal experiences for which he called me a liar.

    I corrected him using the same tone he took with me.

    He erased all of my posts (took me hours to write) and blocked me.

    Typical liberal bias…if you cannot argue the facts ignore and accuse!

    He used the most ridiculous “facts” that have been spewed by the liberally biased media over the last few years and regurgitated it then calling everyone who was not the military pretty much overpaid, worthless, scum who abuse all of the TCN’s over there…

    Get a life Gordan!

    We are Americans too!

  4. anonymousonpurpose said

    Hello Again,

    I am going to post my extensive reply to the Duff’s ridiculous article because he blocked me from his site…make your own judgment:


    Where to begin?

    I disagree with everything you are saying…to a point. I do agree 100% that there is graft, corruption, bribery, laziness, trafficking, and last but certainly not least, mistreatment of TCN’s.

    I have to completely DISAGREE on certain other points.

    I spent three YEARS with boots on the ground in Baghdad purifying water for the troops. I could not join the military; tried all branches when I was 18, but I have asthma; rejected. I can tell you that IF you are referring to that jackass Benjamin Carter who cried in the film “Iraq for Sale” and testified before Congress about the “horrible” water conditions…HE IS A LAZY GOOD FOR NOTHING LIAR WHO COULD NOT HACK WORKING IN IRAQ!!!! First off, I have a degree in Advanced Water Treatment, Reverse Osmosis Membrane Technology, I am HAZMAT Certified, and I have a State License in water treatment for residential use. When we are talking “waste-water” from an RO, this is NOT waste-water in the usual sense. All it refers to is reject from the RO stream. It has a higher TDS count but it HAS been through MULTIPLE filtration and chemical treatments. This jackass made it sound like “sewer” water was being pumped into the showers and toilets and that is absolutely not the case. He was at a base for about three weeks and went through a few mortar attacks and had to deal with the strange way KBR did things (way to much cronyism), but so damn what! Man Up and do your job to FIX any damn problems you find! This jackass also played down the fact that at this base where these occurrences happened (no residual chlorine in the tank he tested) the ARMY was running the RO! The MILITARY was in charge of the water quality, NOT KBR! This jackass just wanted an excuse to tuck tail and run. Did you know that SOB won a case for PTSD?!! He was there THREE WEEKS and maybe went through a couple mortar attacks. He is getting paid more than what many people earn for a living to sit on his ass and drink. It is all in the record 03-July-06 Benjamin Carter v. Brown & Root/Halliburton. I will tell it straight..the TDS of the waste-steam was less than the TDS on my well. I do not even filter the water through a multimedia or a 5 micron bag filter nor a 3 micron stick filters nor flocculation through a sedimentation basin. NO UGANDAN EVER SUCKED WATER OUT OF THE EUPHRADES AND PUT IT INTO THE SOLDIERS TANKS! The DCMA cracked down on the Water mission after this jackass testified (just a few months after my getting into Baghdad) and every base checked EVERY single tank every day (twice in the summer) for residual chlorine! I almost forgot: NO WHERE THAT WE PURIFIED WATER WAS THE WATER LABELED POTABLE. It was advised to NOT drink any of the water. All of the drinking water was bottled…ALL OF IT! We used the water we purified for bathing and personal hygiene. There was NO WAY that SEWER WATER from the Euphrades went to the soldiers. Once again, this guy was a lazy shiftless drunk (on the record in his case) who could not hack it and made stuff up to get outta Dodge:

    This goes to Gordon Duff: where in the world do you get your facts and figures?

    I WORKED 12 hours a day 7 days a week (at the minimum) I mean I hauled sulfuric acid containers weighing 45.5 kilos in 120 deg weather wearing a full chemical suit! Walked miles and miles testing chlorine residual levels, moved thousands of sandbags, set up water bladders that weighed a ton each, plumbing, carpentry, electrical..WE DID IT ALL IN THE WATER MISSION! I earned every damn penny that I was paid. I have done the math many times and it came to around $15 an hour!! How many people do you know risking their lives for that much? Oh yeah, tax free…ONLY IF WE STAYED OUT OF THE U.S. FOR 330 OUT OF 365 DAYS The military automatically got that benefit. Let’s say we were injured on the job and had to come home before our contract was up…we would be liable for all of the taxes.

    Speaking from personal experience on the ratio of ex-military to civilian contractors: 1:1…as in for every AMERICAN I worked with, half were ex-military. (obviously not including TCN’s)…once again, this is just from personal experience on the bases I was at in Baghdad. Pay was based on home country wages. To try and hire the requisite # of Americans to do the shit jobs would have cost an astronomical amount. An Indian I worked with described his home town in India and how he had the NICEST house in town that cost him a whopping $12,000 for a beautiful three bedroom brick house, and he even owned a car! Their living trailers on my base were right next to the KBR trailers and they ate alongside us at the d-fac. I am not saying by any stretch of the imagination that every base was this good. When at Victory I had to pick up the guys at the PPI camp and I WAS DEPLORED at their living conditions, but we Americans made a stink, went to the military brass, and their company (PPI–Prime Projects International)was forced to build much better housing for them.

    By the way…a man I worked with who started as a plumber at one of my bases, I later worked with him on another base; he was a Special Forces retired Master Sergent. My security man was a Marine Sniper. I could go on and on describing the former military men and women working with us.

    With greater risk you SHOULD earn greater reward. I do not know ANYONE who made $1000 a day (no idea about private security, never dealt with them, but from what I heard, they did not earn this much).

    There was no where near as many contractors as you mention. Three to One contractor to military ratio? What?? Your numbers make no sense:

    Maybe, maybe 1.5 to 1 ….

    Please stop fanning the flames of contractor hatred.

    We are just hard-working patriotic Americans, and TCN’s trying to earn a living and support our fighting men and women of the US Military.

    If I was not injured and in need of multiple surgeries I would still be over there! Supporting the troops. This job gave me more personal satisfaction than any other job I have ever held.

  5. brit guy said

    Do not know who this guy this but he is an idiot.
    I worked in security in Iraq and I do not mind telling him how much I earned it was $350 a day.
    In return my job was to stand in front of American engineers as they oversaw the work being funded by the reconstruction project.
    We sometimes worked in excess of 16 hours a day staying in transit accommodation in some of the worlds biggest sh** holes. We travelled the most dangerous roads in the world that’s right for $325 a day.
    However had I known how my service and sacrifice would be repaid then I would never have gone.
    We were told constantly if it all goes wrong you will be well looked after


    As for the African contractors most were being paid about $50 a day and for this were they on the front line no most were guarding DEFACS PXS all well inside the wire although they faced the same threat from incoming mortar or rocket attacks. They were rarely near the front gate and if they were they under the supervision of the US military so why were they there.
    The only reason was to make vast sums of money out of the US taxpayer for very little outlay.

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